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20130823 BacktoSchoolMISSION—Monday, Aug. 26 is first day of the 2013-2014 school year for Mission CISD, Sharyland ISD and La Joya ISD. With schools back in operation, drivers are asked to watch for school zones and slow down for the safety of the children. And remember that cell phone use is prohibited when driving in a school zone.  

To avoid accidents, drivers should follow reduced speed limits in school zones and be cautious of students who travel on foot, by bicycle and school bus. In 2012, a 3.2 increase was found in pedestrian fatalities and a 19.1 percent increase in bicyclist fatalities.

Tips to driving safely: Pay attention-put your phone down; obey posted speed limits; be on the lookout for bicyclists on the highway and at intersections; when passing a bicyclist, move to another lane, if possible and offer plenty of room; be on the lookout for and yield to pedestrians and watch for children who may dart across the street to catch a school bus.

School buses will be traveling the roadways more frequently; drivers should always stop for school buses with flashing red light, regardless of which direction they are traveling.

Drivers are asked to “Drive Friendly. Drive Safe.” During the rapidly approaching school year, TxDOT warns drivers that in 2012 over 5,000 pedestrians were struck in the state of Texas.

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